Richard Flanagan, SVP at Fort Hill, discussed the process he uses to help companies get great value out of their training and development work, as described in the book, The Six Disciplines of Breakthrough Learning. (He's not listed as an author but has clearly been involved in the development of the content.)
Have you ever taken training and come back to the office to discover that what you learned doesn't make sense or that you can't figure out how it fits what you are doing? On the first pass, the blame appears to be on you as the trainee. After all, you gave the course high marks, right?
The "scrap rate" for training - training that doesn't create business value - is in the ballpark of 80-90 percent. Participants may have tried to apply what they learned, but there was no value or they returned to their old habits.
In understanding where the shortfalls are, additional data suggest that the problem is in the preparation and the application of what you've learned. Flanagan's data showed the bigger component was application, but I suspect preparation is even more important. The whole experience of training (learning & development) needs to start with what are the expected outcomes and finish with real measurement of those outcomes. And those outcomes are not "trained 100 people."
Here are Flanagan's Six Disciplines:
- Define outcomes (business outcomes)
- Design complete experience
- Deliver for application
- Drive follow through
- Deploy active support
- Document results (business results)
An interesting set of disciplines that seem like common sense. But these are not common practice.